monochromatic rosy pearl or dirty white, they were subtly street. They had a medium-low profile, avoided high-contrast topstitching and possessed no bells or whistles. They were quietly luxurious with their napaleather uppers and elegant enough for Paris Fashion Week. They will probably look even better at the cubicle farm. They seem perfectly designed for when the boss says “Perkins, wearing sneakers? To work?” Now, Perkins can say “But they’re Raf Simons.”
You’d think that being office-ready is faint praise for a piece of streetwear, but Vancouver designer Kevin Reid thinks it’s a natural evolution. As Livestock’s creative director and head designer of its in-house label, Illustrated Example, Reid sees streetwear as “growing up with the consumer, the guy who has been following it.” “You’re seeing a lot more shirting, a lot more knitwear,” he says. “You’re seeing a lot of things that weren’t part of streetwear 10 years ago becoming huge components of a company’s collection.”
And at the heart of this maturation of streetwear is the desire for versatility. “Life is unpredictable,” says Reid, and streetwear needs to adapt to “life and living in the city, being active and doing things.” Time also factors into the design, which leads back to the man (I’ll assume he was a man) who bought the Yeezy Boost 350 sneakers for $704. Perhaps it’s midnight for him now. His spouse and kids are asleep. He closes the laptop and slips into bed. And in the morning, he won’t tell anyone he bought the shoes.
When they come in the mail, he ices them, hiding them at the back of the closet because he’s a ninja. He’s street, but he doesn’t dress like Spike Lee in Do the Right Thing. That was a long time ago. What he wears now is ninjawear because it’s all about stealth. He looks domesticated, but underneath he remains wild at heart. The street is in him. He thinks that maybe after work he’ll head to concrete under the overpass to skate, to freestyle ride, do shit. But he won’t. Posing: Maybe that’s all that’s left in the end.
So maybe the joke’s on him.
The hottest kicks on the market: Yeezy Boost 350 Black